Part of Lesson Plan: Leadership Skills
Activity Overview / Details
One thin dowel is used for one group. The dowel should be about as round as a thumb and about 6 feet long.
The students are put into a group of about 7-9 people. One half stand on one side of the dowel and the other stand on the other side. They are facing each other. All students use their index fingers. They are to extend their index fingers. The teacher places the dowel on top of their fingers. When told to go they are to lower the dowel to the ground. They must always have all fingers touching the dowel. If someone's finger does not touch the dowel then they must begin again.
This sounds really simple but it is not. Most of the time during the first attempt they will end up raising the dowel even higher! The teacher then takes the dowel, sets them up again, and they start again. This time they really try to get the dowel down but it is difficult for them. Soon one person becomes the obvious leader and starts counting out the time for them to lower the dowel. "Down on the count of three....one, two, three." "Let's do it again. One, two, three." And so it goes until the dowel is finally on the ground.